Global Warming Follies


“Climate Change’s” death spiral?

Posted in Common Sense by tjgavin on February 15, 2010

So much has been revealed over that last week or so that you have to wonder if anyone will be able to make a convincing argument for Global Warming” without a complete new set of scientific  studies that are properly reviewed, subject to rigorous testing and free from political influence.

If you haven’t been following the recent press, you simply have to read the following articles published just in the last week:

In this BBC Q&A with Phil Jones the embattled head of the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit admits that there has been no statistically significant warming in 15 years and that the vast majority of climate scientists don’t believe that the “debate on climate change is over”. Coming from a leading researcher in favor of the GW theory, these admissions are stunners!

Another revelations are that he thinks that the Medieval Warm Period may have been global in scope which would destroy the alarmists’ assertion that the current period of warming is “unprecedented”. In addition, he cannot produce the data on which his research is based leading his colleagues to assert that he is so disorganized he may have lost them. This makes his research untestable and therefore of limited value.

The London Telegraph reports that an alarming claim the UN’s IPCC  made in its 2007 report that GW will cause food production to drop by 50% in some African countries in the next decade is completely without scientific backing. The Telegraph’s reporter is lead to conclude that the IPCC report is disintegrating under closer examination.

England’s Guardian newspaper, long a supporter of AGW ran this story suggesting that fraud has been committed by climate  scientists refusing to release data on the location of Chinese weather stations whose data appeared to support the theory of AGW. As it turns out those stations were located in urbanizing areas or had been moved rendering their data invalid.

The London Times quotes John Christy, professor of atmospheric science at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, and a former lead author of theIPCC that “temperature records cannot be relied upon”  because of the factors cited in the Guardian story

This information is very recent and the effects will be realized over the next weeks and months but it doesn’t bode well for the alarmists. Of course all of this stuff is just the most recent. For a compendium of the Warmers’ woes see this column by Mark Landsbaum

An interesting thing to note is that all of this reporting is being done by British news organizations. Do you wonder why the American Press especially the NY Times seems to have no interest? So does Walter Russell Mead here.

Stay tuned. This is going to get REALLY interesting soon!

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Climate scientist used car dealers

Posted in Common Sense by tjgavin on February 5, 2010

Michael Barone believes that the “climate change” scare crowd has jumped the shark from a credibility standpoint and may have damaged the whole movement into ineffectivenes.

Quick, name the most distrusted occupations. Trial lawyers? …Used car dealers? …over the last three months a new profession has moved smartly up the list and threatens to overtake all. Climate scientist.

…the Climategate e-mails made public in November… showed how top-level climate scientists distorted research, plotted to destroy data and conspired to prevent publication of dissenting views. …The e-mails conclusively establish the intellectual dishonesty of the climate scientists at the CRU and their co-conspirators.

The e-mails were just the start of the UN Warmongers woes. Since that story broke last fall they have:

  1. Admitted getting it wrong about Himilayan glacial melt by over 300 years;
  2. Admitted using non-peer-reviewed scientific sources in their 2007 report; and,
  3. Been found to have used as sources statements by advocacy groups like Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Federation, including an anti-smoking activist quoted about warming damaging 40% of the Amazon rain forest in the same report.

As Mr Barone concludes:

Unfortunately, the cadre of climate scientists who have dominated public discussion and have controlled the IPCC have been demonstrated to be far, far less than trustworthy. Like the theorists who invented epicycles to explain away the failure of Ptolemaic theory to account for astronomical observations, they have distorted science in the interest of something that resembles religious dogma.

Amen.

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You don’t say

Posted in Common Sense by tjgavin on December 15, 2009

A doctrine of faith of the Global Warming alarmists’ religion has been to point to retreating glaciers and blame it all on AGW. The focus has been on how fast they’ve been melting and the supposedly dire results for the local population if that melting continues. 

The “concensus” cause of  glacial melting has been assumed to be AGW. The “concensus” solution is, of course, to control carbon output and hence each of our lives.

Now comes the Swiss reporting a “surprising” finding:

…Their study into the impact of solar radiation on Alpine glaciers made the “surprising discovery” that in the 1940s, and especially summer 1947, the ice floes lost the most ice since measurements begin 95 years ago, according to Zurich’s Federal Institute of Technology.

…The researchers found from historic data on three Swiss glaciers, as well as radiation recordings from the eastern Alpine town of Davos, that the level of sunshine in the 1940s was eight percent higher than average and significantly higher than now.

As a result, snow and ice melted by about four percent.

Four percent? That sounds like a lot! And it occured 70 years ago.

So what happened since then?

A phase of less sunshine — global dimming — from the 1950s to 1980s also corresponded with the advance in the snout of glaciers.

Interesting…  So the glaciers retreated big-time  during a period of increasing CO2 emisions. And then they grew during a period of faster CO2 emissions.

Do we see a pattern here? OF COURSE NOT!

But since the cannon of GW scripture says humans caused glacial retreat by emitting CO2 the GW alarmists ignore the fact pattern and hope you will too.

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The end?

Posted in Common Sense by tjgavin on November 29, 2009

 

I know it’s really, really bad form to include an entire news story in a blog. But this piece from the London Times is the best and most accessible explanation of the current situation I have read in the last week. I hope you will read the whole story because it’s important that we all understand how a few ideologues can push a world population to the brink.

The great climate change science scandal
Leaked emails have revealed the unwillingness of climate change scientists to engage in a proper debate with the sceptics who doubt global warming

Jonathan Leake, Environment Editor

The storm began with just four cryptic words. “A miracle has happened,” announced a contributor to Climate Audit, a website devoted to criticising the science of climate change.“RC” said nothing more — but included a web link that took anyone who clicked on it to another site, Real Climate.

There, on the morning of November 17, they found a treasure trove: a thousand or so emails sent or received by Professor Phil Jones, director of the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia in Norwich.

Jones is a key player in the science of climate change. His department’s databases on global temperature changes and its measurements have been crucial in building the case for global warming.

What those emails suggested, however, was that Jones and some colleagues may have become so convinced of their case that they crossed the line from objective research into active campaigning.

In one, Jones boasted of using statistical “tricks” to obliterate apparent declines in global temperature. In another he advocated deleting data rather than handing them to climate sceptics. And in a third he proposed organised boycotts of journals that had the temerity to publish papers that undermined the message.

It was a powerful and controversial mix — far too powerful for some. Real Climate is a website designed for scientists who share Jones’s belief in man-made climate change. Within hours the file had been stripped from the site.

Several hours later, however, it reappeared — this time on an obscure Russian server. Soon it had been copied to a host of other servers, first in Saudi Arabia and Turkey and then Europe and America.

What’s more, the anonymous poster was determined not to be stymied again. He or she posted comments on climate-sceptic blogs, detailing a dozen of the best emails and offering web links to the rest. Jones’s statistical tricks were now public property.

Steve McIntyre, a prominent climate sceptic, was amazed. “Words failed me,” he said. Another, Patrick Michaels, declared: “This is not a smoking gun; this is a mushroom cloud.”

Inevitably, the affair became nicknamed Climategate. For the scientists, campaigners and politicians trying to rouse the world to action on climate change the revelations could hardly have come at a worse time. Next month global leaders will assemble in Copenhagen to seek limits on carbon emissions. The last thing they need is renewed doubts about the validity of the science.

The scandal has also had a huge personal and professional impact on the scientists. “These have been the worst few days of my professional life,” said Jones. He had to call on the police for protection after receiving anonymous phone calls and personal threats.

Why should a few emails sent to and from a single research scientist at a middle-ranking university have so much impact? And most importantly, what does it tell us about the quality of the research underlying the science of climate change?

THE hacking scandal is not an isolated event. Instead it is the latest round of a long-running battle over climate science that goes back to 1990.

That was when the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — the group of scientists that advises governments worldwide — published its first set of reports warning that the Earth faced deadly danger from climate change. A centrepiece of that report was a set of data showing how the temperature of the northern hemisphere was rising rapidly.

The problem was that the same figures showed that it had all happened before. The so-called medieval warm period of about 1,000 years ago saw Britain covered in vineyards and Viking farmers tending cows in Greenland. For any good scientist this raised a big question: was the recent warming linked to humans burning fossil fuels or was it part of a natural cycle?

The researchers set to work and in 1999 a group led by Professor Michael Mann, a climatologist at Pennsylvania State University, came up with new numbers showing that the medieval warm period was not so important after all.

Some bits of the Atlantic may have been warm for a while, but the records suggested that the Pacific had been rather chilly over the same period — so on average there was little change.

Plotted out, Mann’s data turned into the famous “hockey stick” graph. It showed northern hemisphere temperatures as staying flat for hundreds of years and then rising steeply from 1900 until now. The implication was that this rise would continue, with potentially deadly consequences for humanity.

That vision of continents being hit by droughts and floods while the Arctic melts away has turned a scientific debate into a highly emotional and political one. The language used by “warmists” and sceptics alike has become increasingly polarised.

George Monbiot, widely respected as a writer on green issues, has branded doubters “climate deniers”, a phrase uncomfortably close to holocaust denial. Sceptics, particularly in America, have suggested that scientists who believe in climate change are part of a global left-wing conspiracy to divert billions of dollars into green technology.

A more cogent criticism is that there has been a reluctance to acknowledge dissent on the question of climate science. Al Gore, the former US vice-president turned green campaigner, has described the climate debate as “settled”. Yet the science, say critics, has not been tested to the limit. This is why the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia is so significant.

Its researchers have built up records of how temperatures have changed over thousands of years. Perhaps the most important is the land and sea temperature record for the world since the mid-19th century. This is the database that shows the “unequivocal” rise of 0.8C over the last 157 years on which Mann’s hockey stick and much else in climate science depend.

Some critics believe that the unit’s findings need to be treated with more caution, because all the published data have been “corrected” — meaning they have been altered to compensate for possible anomalies in the way they were taken. Such changes are normal; what’s controversial is how they are done. This is compounded by the unwillingness of the unit to release the original raw data.

David Holland, an engineer from Northampton, is one of a number of sceptics who believe the unit has got this process wrong. When he submitted a request for the figures under freedom of information laws he was refused because it was “not in the public interest”.

Others who made similar requests were turned down because they were not academics, among them McIntyre, a Canadian who runs the Climate Audit website.

A genuine academic, Ross McKitrick, professor of economics at the University of Guelph in Canada, also tried. He said: “I was rejected for an entirely different reason. The [unit] told me they had obtained the data under confidentiality agreements and so could not supply them. This was odd because they had already supplied some of them to other academics, but only those who support the idea of climate change.”

IT was against this background that the emails were leaked last week, reinforcing suspicions that scientific objectivity has been sacrificed. There is unease even among researchers who strongly support the idea that humans are changing the climate. Roger Pielke, professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said: “Over the last decade there has been a very political battle between the climate sceptics and activist scientists.

“It seems to me that the scientists have lost touch with what they were up to. They saw themselves as in a battle with the sceptics rather than advancing scientific knowledge.”

Professor Mike Hulme, a fellow researcher of Jones at the University of East Anglia and author of Why We Disagree About Climate Change, said: “The attitudes revealed in the emails do not look good. The tribalism that some of the leaked emails display is something more usually associated with social organisation within primitive cultures; it is not attractive when we find it at work inside science.”

There could, however, be another reason why the unit rejected requests to see its data.

This weekend it emerged that the unit has thrown away much of the data. Tucked away on its website is this statement: “Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some sites … We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (ie, quality controlled and homogenised) data.”

If true, it is extraordinary. It means that the data on which a large part of the world’s understanding of climate change is based can never be revisited or checked. Pielke said: “Can this be serious? It is now impossible to create a new temperature index from scratch. [The unit] is basically saying, ‘Trust us’.”

WHERE does this leave the climate debate? While the overwhelming belief of scientists is that the world is getting warmer and that humanity is responsible, sceptical voices are increasing.

Lord Lawson, the Tory former chancellor, announced last week the creation of the Global Warming Policy Foundation, a think tank, to “bring reason, integrity and balance to a debate that has become seriously unbalanced, irrationally alarmist, and all too often depressingly intolerant”.

Lawson said: “Climate change is not being properly debated because all the political parties are on the same side, and there is an intolerance towards anybody who wants to debate it. It has turned climate change from being a political issue into a secular religion.”

The public are understandably confused. A recent poll showed that 41% accept as scientific fact that global warming is taking place and is largely man-made, while 32% believe the link is unproven and 15% said the world is not warming.

This weekend many of Jones’s colleagues were standing by him. Tim Lenton, professor of earth system science at UEA, said: “We wouldn’t have anything like the understanding of climate change that we do were it not for the work of Phil Jones and his colleagues. They have spent decades putting together the historical temperature record and it is good work.”

The problem is that, after the past week, both sceptics and the public will require even more convincing of that.

But we were so SURE!

Posted in Common Sense by tjgavin on November 23, 2009

For ten years there has been no rise in global temperatures despite a rise in greenhouse gases. The press has managed to ignore that fact in its reporting of all of the things GW supposedly causes. Now it seems that Der Spiegel for one is beginning to deal with that inconvenient truth.

Climatologists Baffled by Global Warming Time-Out
By Gerald Traufetter

Global warming appears to have stalled. Climatologists are puzzled as to why average global temperatures have stopped rising over the last 10 years. Some attribute the trend to a lack of sunspots, while others explain it through ocean currents…

The planet’s temperature curve rose sharply for almost 30 years, as global temperatures increased by an average of 0.7 degrees Celsius (1.25 degrees Fahrenheit) from the 1970s to the late 1990s. “At present, however, the warming is taking a break,” confirms meteorologist Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences in the northern German city of Kiel. Latif, one of Germany’s best-known climatologists, says that the temperature curve has reached a plateau. “There can be no argument about that,” he says. “We have to face that fact.”

“Face that fact”?  I’d say it’s about time.

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Hyperbole as policy

Posted in Common Sense by tjgavin on September 22, 2009

Can you say “desperate’?

UNITED NATIONS (CNN) — President Obama joined other world leaders Tuesday in calling for immediate and substantive steps to combat climate change, saying failure to act now would bring “irreversible catastrophe.”

As the world gets cooler the rhetoric gets more desperate.

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A Meteorologist’s Skeptical Take on Global Warming

Posted in Common Sense by tjgavin on September 14, 2009

Matt Rogers is a meteorologist for the Washington Post, an unusual place to find a sceptic of “Global Warming”.  Yet, nonetheless, there he is giving ten reasons he thinks it’s wise to question the “concensus” on GW. 

But first he starts by setting the stage with how difficult the topic is:

…I frequently say that weather forecasting is a humbling endeavor, and I have learned to respect its challenges. From this perspective, you might be able to better understand why I wince when hearing pronouncements such as “the science is settled”, “the debate is over”, or even the “the temperature in the 2050s is projected to be…” I realize that forecasting climate and weather are different, but both involve a large number of moving parts.

With respect for the topic and the state of the science he lists his top ten reasons, David Letterman style, for questioning the orthodox view:

(10) Hurricanes: …Since the 1990s, this activity has been decreasing, which goes against what we were told to expect on a warming planet.

(9) Ice Caps: In 2007, the Northern Hemisphere reached a record low in ice coverage and the Northwest Passage was opened. …What you were not told was that the data that triggered this record is only available back to the late 1970s.

(8) El Niño: …we are now about to complete an entire decade without a strong El Niño event (three occurred in the 1980s-1990s). So the more recent 2007 IPCC report backtracked from Hansen’s prediction, noting that there were too many uncertainties to understand how El Niño will behave with climate change.

(7) Climate Models: To be blunt, the computer models that policy-makers are using to make key decisions failed to collectively inform us of the flat global land-sea temperatures seen in the 2000s…

(6) CO2 (Carbon Dioxide): …Over the summer, CO2 reached almost .04% of our total atmosphere as reported here. Because CO2 is but a sliver of our atmosphere, it is known as a “trace gas.” We all agree that it is increasing, but is there a chance that our estimate of its influence on the Greenhouse Effect is overblown given its small atmospheric ratio?

(5) Global Temperatures: …Three of four major datasets that track global estimates show 1998 as the warmest year on record with temperatures flat or falling since then.

(4) Solar Issue: …The second half of the twentieth century (when we saw lots of warming) was during a major solar maximum period- which is now ending. Total solar irradiance has been steady or sinking similar to our global temperatures over much of this past decade…

(3) But what about…? …”But what about all this crazy weather we’ve been having lately?” …Very few statistics are available that correctly show an increase in these “crazy” events.

(2) Silencing Dissent: …several times during debates individuals have told me I should not question the “settled science” due to the moral imperative of “saving the planet”. As with a religious debate, I’m told that my disagreement means I do not “care enough” and even if correct, I should not question the science. This frightens me.

(1) Pullback: Does climate change hysteria represent another bubble waiting to burst? From the perspective of the alarmism and the saturation of the message, the answer could be yes. I believe that when our science or economic experts tend to be incorrect, it usually involves predictions that have underperformed expectations (Y2K, SARS, oil supply, etc). Can we think of any other expert-given, consensus-based, long-term predictions that have verified correctly? Not one comes to mind.

All are good but I like No. 1 the best. Because that, my friends, describes hubris.

 

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Take that ALGORE!

Posted in Common Sense,Follies by tjgavin on July 22, 2009

ALGORE’s hometown of Nashville isn’t cooperating with the Global Warming agenda:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Cool weather has broken a previous low temperature for July 21 in Nashville that was set when Rutherford B. Hayes was president.

When the temperature at the National Weather Service station dipped to 58 degrees at 5:30 a.m. on Tuesday, it wiped out the previous record low for the date of 60 degrees, which was set in 1877.

Was this just a freak anomaly? Apparently not.

NWS forecaster Bobby Boyd noted it was the third consecutive morning when Nashville either tied or broke a daily low temperature record.

And here in Chicago we’re still waiting for summer to really begin.

Now, of course, we know that local weather is not global climate. We also know it’s hot in the South and West. So its only having a fun to point out little factoids like this.

But, that being said, it’s beginning to look like 2009 will be another year of a decline in global temperatures. According to satellite measurements, global temperatures were at “normal” levels through June of  this year with a “Global Temperature Anomaly” of 0.00 degrees C. 

I’ll look for that info to be reported broadly in the MSM.    🙂

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Well maybe not tomorrow but…..

Posted in Common Sense by tjgavin on March 23, 2009

Is this another “Oops! Never mind”? You decide.

How many times have you seen the word “collapse” used lately to describe what could unfold should human-caused global warming, and more particularly warming seas, erode the West Antarctic Ice Sheet? (One metric: A Google search for “West Antarctic Ice Sheet” and “collapse” gets 29,800 hits.)

That seems like a lot. But what do I know? On the other hand, what if that “collapse” takes thousands of years to happen?

…But this paper, by David Pollard at Penn State and Robert M. DeConto of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst… ran a five-million-year computer simulation of the ice sheet’s comings and goings, using data on past actual climate and ocean conditions gleaned from seabed samples (the subject of the other paper) to validate the resulting patterns.

The bottom line? In this simulation, the ice sheet does collapse when waters beneath fringing ice shelves warm 7 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit or so, but the process — at its fastest — takes thousands of years. Over all, the pace of sea-level rise from the resulting ice loss doesn’t go beyond about 1.5 feet per century, Dr. Pollard said in an interview, a far cry from what was thought possible a couple of decades ago.

…Over all, the loss of the West Antarctic ice from warming is appearing “more likely a definite thing to worry about on a thousand-year time scale but not a hundred years,” Dr. Pollard said.

Seems like more of a thousand-year “shrug” to me. Or maybe a thousand-year “sprawl”. Certainly NOT a “collapse”. For those near the ocean as this “collapse”  happens, here’s my advice: about every hundred years or so, take a step backwards.

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Don’t worry about those polar bears!

Posted in Common Sense by tjgavin on January 5, 2009

Remember all those stories designed to make you cry about polar bears drowning? It was your fault that global warming was melting their ice flows and THAT had to stop RIGHT NOW! Well, those stories will have to be put into storage for awhile.

Thanks to a rapid rebound in recent months, global sea ice levels now equal those seen 29 years ago, when the year 1979 also drew to a close.

Two interesting things happened in 1979. That was the year that satellite observations of sea ice began. It was also the year that Time Magazine ran a cover story headlined “Another Ice Age?” telling us that thirty years of observations indicated that the globe was cooling. (I strongly urge you to read the article and see if you notice how similar it is to the hype you’re hearing now about global warming.)

You might be wondering what happened to the predictions we heard earlier this year that Arctic Ice was disappearing so much that shipping lanes could open up through the Northwest Passage.

Earlier this year, predictions were rife that the North Pole could melt entirely in 2008. Instead, the Arctic ice saw a substantial recovery. Bill Chapman, a researcher with the UIUC’s Arctic Center, tells DailyTech this was due in part to colder temperatures in the region. Chapman says wind patterns have also been weaker this year. Strong winds can slow ice formation as well as forcing ice into warmer waters where it will melt.

Imagine that. Wind and colder temperatures were all it took. Interestingly, the idea that wind patterns can blow sea ice to warmer waters where it melts never got much press when it was happening. Now that ice is growing, its reported in its absence.

But why were all those, oh so smart, scientists wrong?

Why were predictions so wrong? Researchers had expected the newer sea ice, which is thinner, to be less resilient and melt easier. Instead, the thinner ice had less snow cover to insulate it from the bitterly cold air, and therefore grew much faster than expected, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Or maybe it just didn’t fit the expectation of warmer tempertures because “everyone knows that we’re having global warming”. 

It used to be that science was a discipline that constantly reassessed its assumptions. Now, because grants are at risk, that’s no longer operative. Now we hear statements like “cooler temperatures are a result of gloal warming” and are expected to believe it. 

And its not just a hypothetical arguement. Those assumptions cause our government to act:

In May, concerns over disappearing sea ice led the U.S. to officially list the polar bear a threatened species, over objections from experts who claimed the animal’s numbers were increasing.

Let’s hope this “whoops moment” causes some more testing of global warming assumptions before our policy-makers cause real damage to real people. This time its about erroneously putting the polar bear on the endangered species list. Next it will be about food production, what you can and cannot eat, taxes and the entire economy. Now that will be a real “whoops moment”.

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